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It just got Grand at the Arcade

27 May 2015
It just got Grand at the Arcade
Resurrected more recently including a ‘save the clock’ campaign, Leeds Grand Arcade is following the already established likes of Thornton’s Arcade -which houses various independents such as Tall Boys, OK Comics, Welcome skate store etc- and the beautifully tiled Queens Arcade, with a focus on housing independent retailers. It is gone from very minimal capacity to near full in just a few years. Considering the regeneration of nightlife in what is fast becoming known as Leeds’ Northern Quarter, this area is attracting a real buzz. We explore some of the successful residents of the arcade.

The Traditional Shaving Company

The Traditional Shaving Company

Established as a family business, this suave shop offers all manner of male grooming and shaving accessories, making them the biggest retailer of such in Yorkshire. There is a charming vintage aesthetic to all the products, which include the traditional badger hair shaving brushes and all manner of razors including the classic cut throat razor. The Traditional Shaving Company offers exotic and luxury fragrance brands which you can sample in store, so chuck out that fermenting bottle of Old Spice and embrace sandlewood, lime and basil notes. The carefully curated selection of balms, oils and creams pamper pre and post shaved skin and make beautiful gifts. They also stock hair products, soap and other toiletries for immaculate male grooming for the modern man.

Our Handmade Collective

Our Handmade Collective

With the increasing popularity of handmade online markets like Etsy, the demand for gifts with a little more personality and one-of-a-kindness is on the up. Resisting the rut of the factory churned commodity, Our Handmade Collection celebrates the joy of handmade craft, adding more than just a personal touch to their products. Unlike Etsy, none of the products is sold online, insisting on your attention within the store where you can physically pick out the perfect gift. With gifts and products on offer from a whole host of crafty folk you can buy from glass makers, soap and bath bomb makers, chocolatiers, talented seamstresses, and jewellery makers. Whatever you find within the treasure trove, it will have the guaranteed unique factor.

Lord's Barbering

Lord's Barber's Article

Speaking of male grooming, The Traditional Shaving Co's affiliates Lord's Barbering is located just a stones throw away. Once residents of The Traditional Shaving Co as in-house barbers of business has since flourished for the old-school barbers and so they have taken up shop themselves. Fear not if your chap is more likely to make a Sweeny Todd move with his Traditional Shaving Co razor, barbers and shaving expert Lord’s Barbering are experts in both. Hairy gents take note, Lord’s also has in house ‘beard whisperers’ to tame any forlorn looking beards.

Zaap Thai

Zaap Thai Article

Grand Arcade’s newest addition on Vicar Lane, Zaap Thai brings the best of Bangkok street food indoors. Filled with rickshaws, bicycles and tuk tuks (crazy motorbike van hybrids found zipping round Thailand), the restaurant has all the vibrancy and chaos of the city which translates itself into the food. Often called the Street Food Capital of the world, the hustle and bustle of Bangkok means a culture of swinging by a stall to sample fresh ingredients while taking in all the sights, sounds and smells of the city. In Zaap Thai they have managed to capture this energy and great selection of food - and you can sit down to boot! On the menu is a range of classic dishes, from zoups and zides (yep that’s soup and sides Zaap style) various meats off the grill, Dim Zum (again with the zees) and noodle dishes. For lighter snacks to be enjoyed with a few late night drinks (Zaap stays open ‘til 12 nightly) you can nibble on Zaap’s Krub Krib which start at £1.50 , featuring satay skewers, tofu, wings and thai fishcakes and can be mixed and matched like Thai tapas.

Bar Soba

Bar Soba - Text

Continuing the Asian vibes is Bar Soba which takes you seamlessly from day to night serving pan Asian food and drinks, with a bit of dancing thrown in there if you're in the mood. Located in a conservatory of the arcade, the chain, who have other locations in Glasgow and Edinburgh takes advantage of the opulent lighting and characterful setting. Enjoy cocktails and guest dj sets or tuck into a more chilled out meal of pan Asian street food which include sharing platters and a pre theatre menu for those culturing themselves at The Grand Theatre

Although only one arcade, The Grand offers a little bit of everything so you can plan a whole day of shopping, drinking and eating without even breaking a sweat.

Emma is a Freelance Writer for Leeds Living. She has a degree in English literature from the University of Leeds and specialises in writing cultural editorials.